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Gardening: How do the seeds I planted unplant themselves? (1 Viewer)

Jeff Ulmer

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Last week I planted a bunch of pumpkin seeds, about an inch below the surface. Now, I find many of them sitting bare assed on the top of the soil. How does this happen?
 

Denward

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Feb 26, 2001
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A slightly more mundane explanation:

One inch below the surface seems very shallow. Is that what it says on the package instructions? It's probably birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other critters smelling the seeds and digging them out.
 

Julie K

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Dec 1, 2000
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If you didn't tamp down the dirt firmly, then I suppose that water could have removed the soil.

Another possibility is that something is scratching around the area:

(1) birds looking for a snack

(2) cats looking for restroom facilities

(3) ghouls searching for fresh corpses.

Or perhaps it's a case of settling dirt and is similar to the phenomenon of the large brazil nuts ending up on top in the can of mixed nuts.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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The package the seeds came from had no instructions...it was my last years (actually 2 years ago) pumpkin. There is no sign of surface disruption, no digging, piles, pods....
I suspect it is animals, but the seeds aren't being eaten (yet). I hope at least one of them grows, as the garden this year is going to suck due to the crappy weather. I still haven't planted anything other than pumpkin seeds, and they are unplanting themselves. :frowning:
 

Julie K

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Seriously though, I'm betting on birds. They don't so much dig as scratch and it might be that you don't notice their slight scratches. They might not even be wanting the seeds but are instead looking for insects in the soft and easily scratchable dirt.

You might wish to instead start the seeds in small starter pots and then later set them out as seedlings in the garden.
 

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